- Associate Professor of History at La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- U.S. citizen born in North Carolina, USA.
- Author or editor/translator of two published books, one forthcoming book, articles, book chapters, and book reviews about the Russian Revolution and oppositionism within the Soviet Communist Party.
- Teaches using Reacting to the Past pedagogy.
- Travels include Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Finland, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Mexico.
I am the Assistant Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library. I develop and steward our collections from 1800 up through today, teach classes, provide advanced reference services, curate exhibitions, and give tours for visitors.
Michael David-Fox is a historian of modern Russia and the USSR, whose work has ranged from cultural and political history to transnational studies and modernity theory. At the outset of his career, he became one of the first foreign researchers to work in formerly closed Communist Party archives during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He went on to become a founding editor of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History [https://kritika.georgetown.edu/], now based at Georgetown, a transformative journal that has helped to internationalize the field of Russian Studies. For this, he received the 2010 Distinguished Editor Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. In a series of books, nine edited volumes, twelve edited special theme issues of journals, and over forty-five articles and chapters, David-Fox has probed unexpected connections between culture and politics, institutions and mentalities, and domestic and international shifts. His latest work explores covert entanglements across borders, ideologies, and cultures. He has strong interests in transnational and comparative history and in the history of Russian-German relations, broadly conceived, as well as in the history of the Russian Revolution and Stalinism. David-Fox received his A.B. from Princeton and his PhD from Yale. He is author of Revolution of the Mind: Higher Learning among the Bolsheviks, 1918-1929 (1997); Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941 (2012, translated into Russian and Chinese, a Choice Outstanding Academic Title); Crossing Borders: Modernity, Ideology, and Culture in Russia and the Soviet Union (2015, under translation into Russian, winner of the 2016 Historia Nova Prize for Best Book in Russian Intellectual and Cultural History). David-Fox has been a Humboldt Fellow (Germany), a visiting professor at the Centre russe, EHESS (France), and was awarded the title of honorary professor from Samara State University (Russia). He has been a visiting scholar or fellow at the W. Averill Harriman Institute at Columbia University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Mershon Center for Studies in International Security and Public Policy, the National Academy of Education, the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2017). His current book project, “Smolensk under Nazi and Soviet Rule,” is a study of the exercise of power in a Russian region under Stalinism and the German occupation during WWII. Aiming squarely at the place where regional history meets the grand narrative, it cross-fertilizes three rapidly evolving fields: the study of Stalinism, German occupation on the Eastern Front during World War II, and the Holocaust. Since 2013, David-Fox has served as scholarly advisor to the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
Lisa Kirschenbaum writes and teaches about modern Russia and the Soviet Union, war and memory, international communism, and gender in modern Europe.
I am a historian of Imperial Russia and the world, interested in the history of knowledge very broadly defined. My first book, Spies and Scholars: Chinese Secrets and Imperial Russia’s Quest for World Power, deals with the construction of a Russian intelligence network in Qing Dynasty China between 1650 and 1850. It was published with Harvard University Press in April 2020.
I am an historian of modern Europe and Russia, with a special interest in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century politics, culture, and ideas. My work explores how Russia’s peculiar political institutions—and its status as a multiethnic empire—shaped public opinion and political cultures. It also interrogates Russia’s relationship with the outside world, asking where the Russian experience belongs in the broader context of European and global history. In addition, I am interested in the theory and practice of the digital humanities. My first book, Children of Rus’: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation, was published by Cornell University Press in 2013. ( See http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100088630). Children of Rus’ argues that it was on the extreme periphery of the tsarist empire—a region that today is located at the very center of the independent nation of Ukraine—that Russian nationalism first took shape and assumed its most potent form. The book reconstructs how nineteenth-century provincial intellectuals came to see local folk customs as the purest manifestation of an ancient nation that unified all the Orthodox East Slavs, and how they successfully propagated their ideas across the empire through lobbying and mass political mobilization. Rather than documenting the advance of “national awakenings” on the imperial periphery, Children of Rus’ highlights the flexibility and contingency of national collectives; it reveals the surprising role that men whom we today would identify as ethnic Ukrainians played in the creation of Russian nationalism as well as the unwitting contributions that Russian nationalists made to other nation-building projects that would ultimately challenge the primacy of their movement. In addition, Children of Rus’ offers a bold reconceptualization of state-society relations under tsarism, showing how residents of a diverse and contested peripheral region managed to shape political ideas and identities across Russia—and even beyond its borders. In the book that I am currently researching, Europe’s Russian Colonies: Politics, Community, and Modernity across Borders, my abiding interest in politics, culture, and ideas takes a new direction. A study of the diverse yet close-knit settlements of tsarist émigrés that sprung up in western Europe’s large cities, university towns, and spa resorts over the long nineteenth century, this book provides the first synthetic history of pre-1917 traffic between Russia and Europe. Placing familiar themes in imperial history in an international context, it treats Europe’s “Russian colonies” as incubators of new ideas, cultures, and identities that ultimately traveled back to Russia via literature, correspondence, and return migration. Europe’s Russian Colonies also argues that these unique urban communities shaped the larger societies in which they were located in consequential ways. The “Russian colonies” and their residents played important roles in the articulation of liberal dreams of universalism and freedom. Yet by the late nineteenth century, as they became breeding grounds for radical ideas on both the left and the right, they began to present new challenges to western Europe’s liberal-parliamentary order. My current research is enriched by technology, and I am interested in thinking through how historians can use digital tools to open new avenues for exploration and to communicate their findings to other scholars and the general public. I am particularly interested in using geo-spatial analysis to analyze flows of people, ideas, and commodities over time and across space. For examples of my (ongoing) work in digital mapping, see my Europe’s Russian Colonies (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/6120) and Publishing the Russian Empire Abroad (https://public.tableau.com/profile/publish/PublishingtheRussianEmpireAbroad/Languagebycity#!/publish-confirm) maps. I have held research fellowships at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and have been awarded grants from ACLS, IREX, Fulbright-Hays, and NCEEER, among others.
Historian, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe Host, New Books in Russian Studies podcast series Host, New Books in East European Studies podcast series Research development, program management and university-community partnerships
Susan Smith-Peter works on Russian history beyond the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Beginning with a study of identity in the provinces of European (or central) Russia, she has branched out to investigate the regional identity of the Russian North and Siberia as well. Her book, Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia, was published with Brill in 2018.
Broadly speaking, my research work has encompassed two major areas to date. The first of these is the radical right in late imperial Russia. This was the subject of my first monograph, titled The Radical Right in Late Imperial Russia: Dreams of a True Fatherland? (Routledge, 2016) The work assessed the changing social dynamics of the populist-nationalist radical right as it emerged in the early twentieth century in Russia. Key concepts examined were national identity, the use of anti-Semitism and the adoption of violence by the major groups assessed. I also considered the civic society projects of the far right and their approach to renewing Russia in the late imperial period, which many of their activists saw as a time of degeneration and decay. This is also something I have explored in research articles. My current research is on martyrdom and martyrology in revolutionary Russia. I am most interested in the wave of martyrdoms on both right and left that emerged in the era of mass violence around the 1905 revolution in Russia, but I will contextualize the project more broadly – cases I have examined span from 1881 to 1917. The project will explore the intersections between these violent, noble deaths that emerged in public life in the late imperial period. I have started the primary research for this, which I hope will form the basis of my second book, and research articles in the future. More recently I have become interested in the history of sport and physical culture in late imperial Russia. I published an article in Slavonic and East European Review on the Sokol movement, and I envisage future research in this area. I have a broad range of teaching experience in European and world history but my primary focus is always the history of modern Russia. My current teaching consists of a number of modules on Russian history from the early nineteenth century to the present day, and a team-taught module on the radical right. I would be pleased to supervise students on aspects of modern Russian history.